The 5G auction remains at risk even after many delays. This time, a report by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) pointed out a series of irregularities, inconsistencies and even illegalities in the notice presented by Anatel. The text will still be judged by the agency next week and there is still no date set for the bidding.
Illegalities of the 5G Auction Notice
TCU’s technical opinion proposes the exclusion of two obligations: the construction of a private network for the exclusive use of the federal public administration and the Integrated and Sustainable Amazon Program (PAIS), which should connect the Amazon region with optical fiber.
The projects were considered illegal by the TCU technical team, based on the General Communications Law (LGT). The agency also understands that the private network cannot be paid for by the operators and that the government must allocate resources from the budget to proceed with the projects.
Another illegality provided for in the notice is the permission to grant licenses without bidding or public call for lots that do not receive bids during the 5G auction.
TCU points out exaggeration of antennas and questions cities
The report also points out a relevant inconsistency regarding 5G antennas with a frequency of 3.5 GHz. The TCU states that Anatel’s projections “came to be eight times higher than the theoretically necessary number to cover the same area”, which results in errors in pricing band and investment commitments.
The agency also questions the fact that Anatel considered only 60 Brazilian municipalities with economic potential for 5G, while the rest of the cities were identified as unviable. In practice, this makes the price of the bands to be auctioned lower for operators to meet coverage commitments; therefore, the minimum license amount calculated by Anatel represents potential damage to the government.
TCU itself points out the inconsistency. Anatel considered several capital cities as unfeasible cities, including Brasília (DF), Salvador (BA), São Luís (MA), Porto Alegre (RS), Maceió (AL), as well as large cities such as Guarulhos (SP) and Campinas (SP) ).
At the same time, the technical team points to a quote from the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria: he released a study informing that the implementation of 5G networks would result in a growth of the Brazilian GDP of US$ 104 billion.
In addition to pointing out the overestimation of antennas, TCU highlights that Anatel used wrong depreciation values and that the criterion for defining the minimum prices for regional lots does not reflect the fair value of the range and commitments.
Notice did not provide for connectivity in schools
TCU’s opinion also states that the 5G edict does not have express determinations on connectivity in public schools, but only the possibility of educational institutions being located in areas where it is possible to provide services with technology.
The document recommends that the Ministry of Communications and Anatel “evaluate the convenience and opportunity to include commitments in the 5G auction notice that establish the obligation of connectivity of public schools of basic education, with the quality and speed necessary for pedagogical use” .
In addition, TCU is concerned about the absence of regulatory obligations on roaming, as provided for in the 5G auction decree established by the Ministry of Communications.
Therefore, the TCU proposed that Anatel review the calculations of estimated antennas for coverage of urban areas with 5G at 3.5 GHz.
High cost of satellite migration
With the arrival of 5G at 3.5 GHz, the satellite dishes for open TV via satellite will no longer work. Anatel defined the migration to the Ku Band, and this requires the replacement of antennas and receivers. However, TCU considered the agency’s calculations to be incorrect.
According to Anatel, cleaning the strip (including the entire transition) would cost around R$ 4.1 billion. However, the TCU claims that this figure is oversized by at least R$ 2 billion, as it does not consider the natural reduction in open TV satellite users and economies of scale in the acquisition of migration kits.
With information: Teletime,  leaf